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Items to note: TIME's 100 most influential people in the world

“They are the people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world.”

Image: Time Magazine via

PRESIDENTS, POLITICIANS AND protesters are joined by actors, singers, funny ladies (?) and the inventor of Spanx in TIME magazine’s most influential list 2012.

There is also room for a royal bride (and her sister), a group of hackers and a couple of dictators. has digested the full 100-strong list and has picked out some of the main highlights:

  • The Arab Spring has provided a number of people prominent positions in this year’s most influential of the influential lists. Protesters Samira Ibrahim (Egypt) and Manal al-Sharif (Saudi Arabia) are both women who took on their countries’ regimes in the face of virginity tests, unlawful arrests and gender-based bans on driving.
  • AIDS researcher Robert Grant is named in the top 100 because of his work at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology. Kenneth Cole, the chairman of the Foundation for AIDS Research, said the world is indebted to the doctor for showing us another way to curb an epidemic that has already claimed the lives of 30 million people.
  • With the year that’s in it, a number of economists have made the list, including America’s Andrew Lo and Elinor Ostrom, a previous recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics. IMF chief Christine Lagarde and ‘super’ Mario Draghi are also there. Although a hedge funder still gets his foot in the door as well.
  • On the theme of business, tycoon Warren Buffet gets the particular honour of having his note written by another member of the 100, Barack Obama.
  • The US President may be worried however by the inclusion of his rival and fellow candidate for the 2012 elections, Mitt Romney.
  • On this side of the pond, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Italy’s Mario Monti were the only EU heads of government honoured with places.
  • Entrepreneur Sara Blakely’s place on the list is granted as millions of women across 40 countries are getting up every day and putting on a product she dreamed up and designed – Spanx.
  • Arguably the biggest event of 2011, the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has provided the bride, the bridesmaid Pippa Middleton and the dress designer Sarah Burton entry. According to Sarah Jessica Parker, the 37-year-old right hand woman to Alexander McQueen did the “undoable” in creating a wedding dress that lived up to the impossible dream.
  • In a year where copyright and censorship issues have plagued the Internet, hactivist group Anonymous has earned a place on the list for its “plundering and playing” in the electronic networks of its “ever shifting enemies list” which, at times, has included Arab dictatorships, the CIA and even our own Fine Gael.
  • Speaking of the web, Reddit general manager Erik Martin is given the TIME nod because “the next time you find yourself watching a video of a reporter swallowing a fly, you can guess that Reddit probably had something to do with it”.
  • There are a number of sporting stars on the list, including New York basketball sensation Jeremy Lin, the NFL’s Tim Tebow (yes, of Tebowing fame), tennis champion Novak Djokovic and the exquisite Lional Messi.
  • ‘Blade runner’ Oscar Pistorius is also featured for his feat of making “absolutely everything” possible in athletics.
  • It was a year of great performances by actresses and it did not go unnoticed by the magazine. The Help’s Viola Davis and Jessica Chastain both make the list, as does Kristen Wiig (writer of Bridesmaids) and Claire Danes who has recently re-embraced television with award-winning performances in Temple Grandin and Homeland.
  • Rihanna makes the top 100 and is given the official title of “superstar”, which we presume is the explanation for her inclusion. There is also a gushing three paragraph dedication from fashion designer Stella McCartney.
  • Ubiquitous British singer Adele has understandably been given a nod because, well, as Pink says, you can’t really turn on a radio anywhere in the world (and, maybe, Mars) without hearing her warbles.
  • The dubious honour of making the magazine’s rogue list goes to Kim Jong Un of North Korea, fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and Sheik Moktar Ali Zubery, described as “the purported emir of al-Shabab, an Islamic militia that has germinated in the rot of Somalia”.
  • In one of the oddest additions, talk show host and author Chelsea Handler was introduced by TIME writers with the title ‘Funny Lady‘.
  • This year is the first time ever that Oprah has not made the list. Her dwindling influence comes off the back of the end of her daytime talk show and low ratings on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
  • Another notable omission is TIME’s person of the year 2010 Mark Zuckerberg.
  • No Irish person has made the list. Burn.

Check out the full list here>

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